My research interests range widely from the colonial era through the Civil war, in American literature and American Studies. Although I have written on a wide range of topics, including the history of American music, most recently I have returned to long-standing interests in American literature and religion.
In 2007, Hill & Wang published my American Transcendentalists: A History, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction. Now I am completing Still Making History, the bicentennial history of the American Antiquarian Society, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies. I regularly teach courses in American literature and American Studies.